Kentucky Art Speaks

Artist: Present & Past

In Artist: Present & Past on November 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Untitled, 1989, enamel and acrylic on canvas.

Keith Haring is the creator of some of the most iconic paintings, prints, and drawings of the 20th century. The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati will exhibit his work starting in February of 2011 with a show titled, Keith Haring: 1978-1982. Needless to say, I am very excited. The show is not only featuring work by Haring, his sketchbooks, diaries, and other personal objects will be on display as well.

Haring, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1990, was a visionary; his bold lines and active figures simultaneously carry messages of individualism and unity. To me, his work is so celebrated because it is universal; everyone has feelings of lust, insanity, isolation, panic, love, and death at some point during their lives.

Haring was an open homosexual, and much of his earlier work (i.e. the ones that will be shown in 1978-1982) includes simple black and white paintings of men engaging in sexual activity. What is most striking about these paintings is that Haring has managed to depict homosexuality in a way that isn’t disgusting or deviant, but raw and unadulterated, natural and even banal at times. His CAC show is one you won’t want to miss.

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